…the mystery of 1950s foodstuffs in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow…

…over the years, Master Gallacher’s career has brought him around the planet to no less than four continents across several decades… of the many different and fascinating experiences that have been thrown his way, none are more interesting than the various samplings of food served in other countries than his own, native Scotland… Hong Kong gave me the delights of eating snake steaks

…not unlike enlarged eel cutlets, usually submerged in a piquant soup, and utterly delicious on a cold winter’s day, in what was then a British colony (temperatures in January often flirted with freezing there)… a few hours flight thence, in Singapore and Malaysia, many crab and lobster dishes were strewn with fiercely hot chilli peppers… not for the timid of palate…

…in the Philippines, newly-incoming, foreign residents were compelled to tackle balut, a half-developed, bird embryo, boiled and eaten from the shell, still half-grown, half-baby bird, the beak sum’times providing hard nibbles to digest…

…strange as these menu items may seem, when I was a lad growing up in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, certain food items were no less mysterious in their genesis… for example, until about the age of ten, I believed that strawberries grew in tin cans, complete with delicious sugary syrup, the contents eked from one small can into p’raps four serving bowls for me and my siblings, with the ultimate gourmand’s addition of Carnation-brand condensed milk…

…scrumptious!… this delicacy appeared on the rare occasions when my father’s occasional sixpenny flutter on the nags yielded enuff for my mother to splash out at the corner store… other prized servings included bread doorstops (the crusty-end, black bits of the plain sliced bread loaf) fried in lard… little wonder Scotland has one of the highest incidences of heart disease on the planet… fruit was an endangered species in Govan… but dollops of hot porridge oats with milk and sugar or salt set us off to school inured against many a freezing Glasgow morning…

…and always, regardless of the season, the ubiquitous, constant pot of soup/broth/mince/mutton/hot-pot, added to as the week progressed with potatoes, lentils, barley, and whatever other food scraps arrived in the house… the Gallacher appetite for foreign foods is easier to understand with the splendid Govan gourmet grounding… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

8 responses to “…the mystery of 1950s foodstuffs in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow…

  1. I like spicy foods, but must say the balut does not sound too appealing to me… What a life, Seumas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wow! you are a brave soul

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recall those tins of condensed milk with great affection – but don’t get me started on dried mash potatoes… Smash. Disgusting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The balut gives me unpleasant shivers. I’ve seen a lot of baby birds. The other items were interesting but the hot spices are not my thing. Interesting post, Seumas. 🙂 — Suzanne


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